Steel City Con Aug 2014 In Summary

August 11, 2014

#steelcitycon #convention #geekdom
This is my overall summary of my Steel City Con experience this past weekend. This is a candid editorial commentary and overall summary of my experience, I don't mean for any of it to be grammatically perfect or well written. This is just a quick and from the hip notebook entry!:

Steel City Con was my first real con since I was a kid. I had gone to it with my dad and still have the free comic I got there of Image Comics 'Patriot' in all its Rob Liefield extremeness. But in general haven't made it to a con till this year. Well it served mainly as a business trip and also then ended up being a nice surprise gift for the mother in law! Day one was me, my wife Kristina and sister. I had my EWG shirt on, nice pants and shoes and had my portfolio with best works from the entire range of projects I do as well as a handful of business cards mounted inside the portfolio. 

I took a nice portfolio, and a load of business cards - showed it to some folks, checked out other folks - all in all potential business has been made and my brand was exposed to the hundreds if not thousands of people there just by walking around with the logo on my shirt. Can't complain. Perhaps next year, a table?

I gave out several, had a person or two check out my work and nobody could miss the big guy with the big EWG logo on front and back in bright orange walking around. So I'm sure, in all the exposure was decent. The Artist Alley was OK, I recognized some artists I met before the con on Deviant Art who said they would be there, and saw a lot of folks who were selling original artwork and prints very similar to what I do. I wasn't impressed with the dark area they had artist alley in and how it was out of the main flow of traffic. I was more impressed with the 2 or 3 artists who were setup in the main flow of toys and collectibles out front. That is most likely where I will try to be if I get a table at a future con.  Anyways in all it was an amazing experience, surreal really, and I got to really just dwell amongst my geeky peers and enjoy ninja turtles, transformers, supernatural, marvel and dc comics and other toys prints and merchandise and it wasn't weird. Everyone there was into it too. Some vendors were pushy 'on sale now! get it while its hot' some were 'hey you guys having a good time? its been crazy right?' and others were just hiding behind their tables and not socializing hardly at all. But what WAS happening, was our attention was pulled in every direction possible and there was soooo much to take in, and there's never enough time to look through everything or never enough money to really buy everything you want. Was very cool. So Friday I went and took a business-oriented assessment of the whole con. I do like that it was less busy on Friday we even were able to park near the front. I came home with four solid turtles posters I got from a fellow who was representing many artists. I inquired on how he goes about finding the artists, he was a bit standoffish but willing to look at my portfolio and i gave him a card. I didn't know the artist that did these three prints but they were a great deal at the con so I grabbed all four brothers.
I didn't really know who the artist was (can see his signature though) but I knew I had to have them! Soon as I get a new proper studio will be framing and hanging these bad boys! My reasons for drawing, period!
Friday was a day to get the lay of the land check everything out and get used to it while it was relatively unchaotic, and Saturday was a whole nother story. Saturday we got there more towards noon as we were mainly there to enjoy the celebrities that were going to be doing Q&A panels all day and Dean Cain was there Saturday. The chance to meet Dean cain really helped my mother in law get through her last week or two of oncology treatments and it made her year heck, her decade when she got to meet him, get a bunch of hugs, hold hands and he even gave her a peck on the cheek she'll never forget. Kristina got hugs and meeting him time too and we have photos of them both meeting him we'll cherish forever.  Levar Burton was the best Q&A panel, second would be Penny Marshall - that's a lady who is hilarious and she doesn't even try, that's just her. Then Dean Cain would be my third favorite panel he is just so genuine open and will go into stories to answer questions that are just fun to listen to. Did you know he beat out Kevin Sorbo for the role of Superman on Lois and Clark? Also I will now have to go look up Airplane vs Volcano just to see a good ol' B movie with him in it haha. Got to shake hands with Dean Cain when we ran into him after the Q&A checking out the adam-west era batmobile, and bumped fists with levar burton and talked about his super successful kickstarter campaign to revive reading rainbow. was all surreal. 
It was a whole lot more busy Saturday, but it was better that way. Vendors had better stuff out, there were tons more costumes walking around and it was all 10x more awesome. I thought the extra crowd would be nuts but it was MORE IMMERSIVE. We knew we weren't coming back Sunday, though the costume contests would have been awesome, 2 days was all we could take this time around. 
I got two cool army of darkness comics, one 'Ash saves obama' just cracked me up so i got it - was a dollar, and the other is the first issue of 'Ashes To Ashes', a direct sequel to Army of Darkness, which I'm really digging and kicking myself for not getting the other 3 while i was there. Plus it has the awesome cover by the legend himself JScott Campbell - I picked up two graphic novels which woulda easily been 20 each or so normally but were 5 dollars each of Skottie Young's Oz series.... love his work follow him on deviant art regularly and am very excited to study his work in these books. Also got 40% off two new copic marker packs. The girl running the table for the discount art store was by far the most talented at the con, she did great color sketches and cards of How To Train Your Dragon, My Little Pony's and more. I was very impressed. I also broke the seal on my Japanese mech model/kit virginity. I got my first one at this cool booth that featured tons of imported model kits and toys. I've already got a leg and arm built and cant wait to do the rest. Who knows maybe after I get it all put together I'll take it apart and color it EWG colors or something - but it was a small-doable model and the design stood out to me and was the cheapest so I got it! Very glad I did.
The comics were a dollar each, the mech kit only 20, and the oz novels 5 bucks each. The copics 40% off - all unheard of!
The con was awesome, and I'm seriously contemplating going to either the December one or the April one. I might make a habit of going to the Summer one once a year at least, cause it seems to be the best time to go!
There were ads for a Cincinnati con soon too maybe will check that out eventually. 
This was nice cause we could drive there from where we live in under 2 hours. The cost could stack up easily trying to fly out be in a hotel and bla bla bla. Not ready to do that yet. Maybe after Kristina and I get setup with our new house then we can save up for that.

Below is a summary of the con in pictures! Most of these were taken on Friday, the celebrities were taken on Saturday but I did not get any pics that reflected the massive crowds and awesomeness of Saturday. Yes I can definitely recommend the Steel City Con, its a big event and super awesome. And yes EWG will definitely be settling in with a table there sometime in the foreseeable future!

Mecha Godzilla on Friday heading to the line

Front Entry view

Penny Marshall was awesome

Deloreon and other Movie props!

Dean Cain was great to see/ meet, my wife and ma in law loved him! They both got hugs and I got a handshake after his Q&A!

Dean Cain's Q&A panel was really interesting

Levar Burton - we loved his Q&A and met him/ fist bumped him after the show - was such a nice guy!

There was an awesome legion of stormtroopers jawas and other starwars characters, these guys particularly were raising money for childrens cancer - i salute them!

I saw pals Indiana Jones and Marty McFly all over the con - they seemed to really dig it!

Day 1 this beastie was parked out front of the convention, I've always loved me rat rods but this was the first I got to see, touch and smell - it was amaaaazing. And highlight of the moment, Kristina actually said 'I really like that cow catcher definitely have to have one of those if we were to have one of these' - massive points won over here.

Able to snag a quick shot of the villains hanging out right before they stole the only two tables at the convention lol - as villains should! (whats with there only being two tables? Everyone had to go sit in the Q&A room to eat)

Harley and her puddin - these two were awesome and in character the whole time

The Dragula from the Munsters - awesome car

My sister's dream came true when she got to sit in and get pictures with KITT from KnightRider - and a picture of her with the Hoff - but she cared more bout the car. When she sat in it and said 'KITT Activeate' it all lit up and everything just like the show. Her face was priceless.
I know a ghostbuster fan or two that'll be jealous of this one - a perfect replica  of the ecto 1 was on display, and a containment unit prop as well as other props. several ghost busters were walking around the show
No show is complete without the batmans. I saw 70s bats and bale bats walking around the show often!
My sister got a shot of Iron Man/Tony Stark who was playing the role perfectly with and without his visor down but I never did see him!

The show was insane and awesome and will definitely have to go back. 
Thanks for having us Steel City Con!

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